Warning: Geekiness Ahead
I've been hearing a lot about the fabulousness of Google Reader, but I've been resisting change. I use iGoogle and I love it. Well, enough is enough. This morning I finally went to http://www.google.com/reader and decided to give it a try. First indications are I loooooove it!
It only took a couple minutes to set up subscriptions for all the blogs I read, and the user interface is super friendly. The way it works is that you type in the URL for the blogs you read regularly, and it lists each blog on the left side of your screen. Then, in parentheses, it shows you how many unread posts there are in each blog. When you click on the blog, it puts the text of the posts in the right-hand column.
Downsides: when you read in Google Reader, you miss out on some of the visual razzamatazz of a user's blog because you just get the raw content without the schmancy personalization of the site. For someone who values aesthetic appeal, that is something to be considered. Of course, you can always click on the title of a blog entry to be taken to the original site.
Also, if you're like me and you use the blogosphere as a way to connect with friends, family, neighbors, etc. then you want to leave comments to let people know you're reading and enjoying their effort. (To use my Word of the Day from yesterday: reading comments is a blogger's pour moire.) Again, if commenting is important to you, you'll need to click through to the original site.
However, iGoogle has these same limitations so I don't mind them. I'll miss the "cuteness" of iGoogle but I can manage. Eventually.
Plusses for Google Reader: it loads much more quickly than iGoogle on my dinosaur of a computer, which is very tantalizing. Also, the dictionary.com Word of the Day doesn't display properly in iGoogle but works fabulously in Google Reader